Sir Peter Cresswell


“Mediation as a technique for resolving disputes has enormous potential. SOM brings together experienced mediators in many distinct fields including for example the following – civil and commercial, family, community, employment, religious disputes, international conflict etc.

There are a number of core values that apply to all mediators, although the techniques appropriate in one type of dispute may not apply in another type of dispute. To date the world of mediation has been somewhat diverse and fragmentary in approach.

SOM provides the opportunity for mediators in all fields to come together with a view to establishing core values and ensuring that the use of mediation develops in a manner that achieves the domestic and international recognition that mediation deserves.

Mediation is a profession not a business. It should be principled. Mediators in different fields should adhere to a common code of conduct.

Training of mediators needs to be improved, properly regulated and to relate to the particular challenges of different types of dispute. For example what is appropriate in a commercial dispute is not necessarily apposite in a community dispute, although the core values will be the same. In commercial disputes a mediator should be familiar with the particular sector of business involved. Thus a charterparty dispute calls for a mediator with a background in shipping law or in the shipping industry. In family disputes a mediator should have a background in resolving family issues. But (I repeat) the core values remain the same.

Anyone who has acted as a mediator soon recognises that mediation gives rise to challenges, problems and issues that are not encountered in litigation or arbitration. A mediator is far closer to the parties than a judge or arbitrator.

SOM provides an opportunity for mediators to discuss with fellow mediators the wide range of challenges encountered in mediation and techniques for handling these professionally.

SOM will (I hope and believe) play a key role in helping this form of dispute resolution realise its enormous potential…”